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Best Hotels in Durham 2024: A Comprehensive Guide for Every Traveler

Durham attracts over one million tourists annually, drawn to its historic landmarks, educational institutions, and natural beauty. The city’s accommodation options are as diverse as its attractions, ranging from luxurious hotels steeped in history to contemporary boutique inns that capture Durham’s vibrant culture. 

This guide is designed to help you navigate these choices. It presents a carefully curated selection of the best hotels in Durham to meet various preferences and budgets.

Top 3 Hotels in Durham for April 2024

Are you in a rush? Here’s a quick overview of what I think are the three best hotels in Durham for April 2024.

  • Hotel Indigo – Affordable luxury within one of the most iconic and beautiful buildings in Durham City. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • 40Winks A stunning boutique hotel best known for its themed rooms and local art collection. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Ushaw Historic HouseThe ultimate place for relaxation is in some of the most stunning grounds and gardens in the Northeast. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Best Durham Hotels By Category:

Whether you’re visiting for leisure, academic reasons, or simply to immerse yourself in the city’s rich heritage, we will streamline your accommodation decision, making your visit memorable and hassle-free.

Best Hotels in Durham for Luxury

Durham City is renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture. It offers a variety of luxurious accommodations and charming boutique hotels. 

Whether you’re visiting for leisure, business, or academia, the city’s hospitality scene caters to all tastes and preferences, combining historical elegance with modern sophistication.

Below, we explore two standout options that promise an unforgettable stay amongst the best hotels in Durham.

Hotel IndigoThe Crown Jewel

Hotel Indigo Durham

Location and Atmosphere

Hotel Indigo Durham, set in the heart of this historic city, offers guests an immersive experience within the former University offices, dating from the 19th Century. 

Located steps from the iconic Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle, the hotel’s ambiance perfectly blends contemporary design and historic details, reflecting the city’s spirit.

Notable Amenities

Guests can enjoy an array of amenities, including complimentary Wi-Fi, an on-site fitness center, and luxurious rooms equipped with spa-like showers. The hotel also features a locally inspired restaurant by world-renowned chef Marco Pierre White, serving dishes crafted from the finest regional ingredients.

Top Tip – The hotel has one of the best bars in Durham, with an incredible cocktail menu. 

Cost and Value for Money

Room rates at Hotel Indigo Durham start from approximately £120 per night, offering great value for those seeking a blend of luxury, comfort, and location. The hotel’s packages often include breakfast and dining discounts, making it an attractive choice for tourists and business travelers.

Website: Hotel Indigo

OYO the TownhouseThe Royal Retreat

OYO Townhouse Durham

Location and Atmosphere

OYO The Townhouse is another gem in Durham. It is within walking distance of the city’s bustling marketplace and historical sites. It’s housed in a Grade II-Listed Georgian townhouse with a charming atmosphere. Each room is uniquely themed to combine luxury with a touch of home.

Rated as the best hotel in Durham for a romantic getaway. 

Notable Amenities

Amenities include free Wi-Fi, en-suite rooms, and a cozy lounge area perfect for relaxing after a day of exploration. Despite its historical setting, the hotel offers modern conveniences to ensure a comfortable stay.

Cost and Value for Money

With rates starting from just £85 per night, OYO The Townhouse provides an excellent option for those seeking a boutique experience at a competitive price. The hotel particularly appeals to couples and solo travelers looking for a personalized stay close to Durham’s main attractions.

Website: OYO The Townhouse

Boutique Hotels in Durham: Unique and Personal

Exploring Durham’s boutique hotels reveals a world of unique, personalised accommodations that promise more than just a place to stay. 

These establishments are tailored for travelers seeking an extraordinary experience, combining local charm with distinctive flair. 

Let’s delve into two boutique hotels in Durham that stand out for their character, comfort, and the unique stories they tell.

40WinksThe Artistic Haven

Location and Atmosphere

Nestled on a quiet, cobbled street a stone’s throw from the vibrant heart of Durham, 40Winks boutique hotel is an artistic retreat designed for creativity and relaxation. 

The hotel’s atmosphere is an ode to local artistry, featuring bespoke furnishings and artworks celebrating Durham’s cultural heritage. Its proximity to the city’s historic sites, including Durham Cathedral, makes it an ideal base for explorers.

Notable Amenities

40Winks offers an immersive artistic experience, with workshops and gallery spaces within the hotel. Each room is individually themed, showcasing the work of local artists. Guests enjoy amenities such as artisanal breakfast, complimentary Wi-Fi, and exclusive access to private art viewings.

Cost and Value for Money

Pricing starts at around £130 per night, positioning 40Winks as a premium boutique option that offers significant value through its unique cultural offerings and personalized service. 

Ideal for art enthusiasts and those seeking an intimate, inspiring stay.

Website: 40Winks

Farnley Tower GuesthouseThe Urban Oasis

Location and Atmosphere

The Farnley Tower Guesthouse, a renovated medieval tower nestled against the backdrop of Durham’s historic cityscape, offers guests a tranquil escape with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. 

Its location provides a serene retreat within easy walking distance of Durham’s bustling city centre, combining the best of both worlds.

Notable Amenities

This guesthouse prides itself on its heritage, with rooms that blend historical architecture with modern luxury. Amenities include a private garden, an extensive library, locally sourced gourmet breakfast, and tailor-made city tours. 

The Farnley Tower Guesthouse is a testament to personalised service, ensuring each guest’s stay is memorable.

Cost and Value for Money

With rates beginning at £115 per night, the Farnley Tower Guesthouse presents exceptional value for those searching for a unique stay that harmonises Durham’s medieval charm with contemporary comfort. 

It’s particularly suited for history buffs and romantics looking for a serene, picturesque setting close to the city’s main attractions.

Website: Farnley Tower

Best Hotels in Durham for Families: Comfort for All Ages

Durham, a city celebrated for its welcoming nature and historical richness, offers a variety of accommodations suitable for families of all sizes. 

Understanding the importance of finding a hotel that caters to both adults and children alike, we highlight two family-friendly hotels in Durham that stand out for their amenities, atmosphere, and proximity to local attractions, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for all ages.

The Funky MonkThe Adventure Base

Location and Atmosphere

Situated in the heart of Durham, a short walk from the historic city center, The Funky Monk provides an ideal base for families looking to explore Durham’s wonders. Inspired by the city’s monastic history with a modern twist, its vibrant and playful decor captures the imagination of both young and older guests, making every stay an adventure.

Notable Amenities

The hotel excels in amenities geared towards families, offering spacious family suites, a children’s play area, and a dedicated kid’s menu in their on-site restaurant. 

Parents can enjoy leisure time in the hotel’s spa and fitness center, knowing their little ones are entertained. Additionally, babysitting services and family-friendly tour bookings are available upon request.

Cost and Value for Money

Family rooms start at approximately £150 per night, providing significant value with breakfast included, free Wi-Fi, and access to leisure facilities. The Funky Monk’s central location and family-centric services make it a top choice for those visiting Durham with children.

Website: The Funky Monk

Marriott Durham Royal CountyGreat for the Kids

Location and Atmosphere

Nestled on the banks of the River Wear, the Marriott Durham Royal County effortlessly blends historical charm with modern luxury. Its picturesque setting offers easy access to Durham’s key attractions, such as the Durham Cathedral and the Durham Castle, making it perfect for family outings.

Notable Amenities

The Marriott caters to families with spacious rooms and suites, an indoor swimming pool, and dining options that please the pickiest eaters. The hotel also offers a children’s program during school holidays, with educational and entertainment activities. 

For parents, the fully-equipped gym and the spa provide a relaxing retreat after a day of family explorations or a long walk in Durham.

Cost and Value for Money

Prices for family accommodations start at around £170 per night, reflecting the premium amenities and services provided. The Marriott’s combination of a prime location, family-focused amenities, and the prestige of a trusted hotel brand makes it an attractive option for families visiting Durham.

Website: The Marriot Durham

Business & Conference Hotels: Work with Ease

Durham’s dynamic business environment and academic heritage make it a frequent destination for professionals and academics from around the globe. 

Recognising the need for accommodations that cater to the specific demands of business and conference attendees, Durham offers hotels designed to facilitate work, networking, and relaxation with equal finesse. 

Here, we spotlight two hotels that stand out for their exceptional business amenities, strategic locations, and commitment to ensuring a productive and comfortable stay.

Ramside Hall HotelThe Executive Choice

Location and Atmosphere

Set amidst a sprawling estate just a short drive from Durham city center, Ramside Hall Hotel combines serene countryside charm with unmatched accessibility to Durham’s business hubs and the university. Its luxurious setting and tranquil gardens provide a perfect backdrop for work and relaxation, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Notable Amenities

Ramside Hall is equipped with state-of-the-art conference facilities, including versatile meeting rooms and a grand ballroom that can accommodate up to 600 delegates. Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, on-site technical support, and bespoke catering options ensure every business need is met. 

The hotel also features a championship golf course, a full-service spa, and several dining options, allowing guests to unwind after a day of meetings.

Cost and Value for Money

With room rates starting at approximately £120 per night, Ramside Hall offers competitive pricing for its luxury business experience. Package deals for conferences and corporate events provide additional value, making it an ideal choice for businesses looking to combine efficiency with elegance.

Website: Ramside Hall Hotel

Radisson Blu HotelThe Networker’s Niche

Location and Atmosphere

Radisson Blu Hotel stands in the heart of Durham, offering unparalleled access to the city’s business district, academic institutions, and cultural landmarks. Its modern architecture and stylish interiors set the stage for a sophisticated stay, with breathtaking views of the River Wear adding to the allure.

Notable Amenities

The hotel is a hub for professionals, featuring cutting-edge meeting and event spaces equipped with the latest audiovisual technology. A highlight is the ‘Brain Box’ room, designed to enhance creativity and collaboration. 

Guests can also take advantage of the on-site business center, fitness facilities, and the Super Breakfast Buffet for an energizing start to the day. The hotel’s restaurant and bar provide ideal settings for informal meetings or relaxing drinks in the evening.

Cost and Value for Money

Room rates at Radisson Blu Hotel Durham begin at around £110 per night, offering substantial value for guests seeking modern comforts and convenient access to Durham’s business scene. 

The hotel’s business packages, which include room upgrades and loyalty points for conference organisers, further enhance its appeal to corporate travelers.

Website: Raddison Blu Durham

Best Hotels in Durham on a Budget: Quality at Great Value

Exploring Durham doesn’t have to break the bank, thanks to various budget-friendly hotels offering comfort, convenience, and great value. 

For travelers seeking affordable accommodation without sacrificing quality, Durham presents options catering to a wide range of preferences, from solo backpackers to cost-conscious families. These hotels embody the essence of value for money, ensuring guests can enjoy the best of the city without the hefty price tag and are all close to free things to in Durham.

Here, we explore two standout hotels known for their exceptional service and competitive pricing, making them some of the best hotels in Durham for budget-conscious travelers.

Gilesgate Moor HotelThe Savvy Traveler’s Pick

Location and Atmosphere

The Gilesgate Moor Hotel is conveniently located on the outskirts of Durham, offering easy access to the city center while providing a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle. 

Its warm, welcoming atmosphere makes guests feel at home, with a friendly staff committed to ensuring a comfortable stay. The hotel’s location is ideal for those looking to explore Durham’s historical sites, with public transport options nearby to take you into the heart of the city.

Notable Amenities

This hotel boasts clean, comfortable rooms with essential amenities, including free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, and en-suite bathrooms. 

A complimentary breakfast is served daily, featuring a selection of hot and cold options to start your day right. Additionally, free on-site parking adds to the convenience for guests traveling by car.

Cost and Value for Money

Room rates at Gilesgate Moor Hotel start from just £60 per night, representing incredible value for travelers who prioritise affordability without compromising comfort. This hotel is perfect for solo travelers, couples, and families looking for a budget-friendly base to explore Durham.

Website: Gilesgate Moor Hotel

The Old School HouseThe Backpacker’s Delight

Location and Atmosphere

The Old School House, nestled in the picturesque Durham countryside, is a haven for backpackers and budget travelers. This charming hostel, set in a converted school building, offers a unique and friendly atmosphere where guests can meet fellow travelers. 

It’s just a short bus ride from Durham city center, making it an excellent choice for those who wish to experience the city’s vibrant culture and the tranquility of the countryside.

Notable Amenities

Guests can enjoy a range of amenities designed with backpackers in mind, including a communal kitchen, a cozy lounge area, and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. The hostel offers dormitory-style and private rooms, catering to different preferences and budgets. Secure storage for bicycles and luggage is also available, making it an excellent option for adventurous travelers.

Cost and Value for Money

With dormitory beds available for £20 per night and private rooms for £50, The Old School House stands out as an exceptionally budget-friendly option. Its unique blend of rustic charm and modern facilities makes it ideal for those seeking an affordable, social accommodation experience in Durham.

Best B&Bs and Guesthouses in Durham 

Durham, a city rich in history and culture, offers more than just traditional hotel stays; it presents a unique selection of Bed and Breakfasts and guesthouses that provide a more personal touch to your visit. 

These establishments create a cozy, intimate experience, often at a fraction of the cost of larger hotels, without compromising comfort and convenience. For those seeking the charm of personal hospitality and the opportunity to explore Durham from a local perspective, B&Bs and guesthouses represent some of the best accommodations in the city. 

Here, we feature two exceptional choices highlighting why they’re considered among Durham’s best B&Bs and guesthouses.

Ushaw Historic HouseA Home Away from Home

Location and Atmosphere

Ushaw Historic House is situated amidst the picturesque Durham countryside, just a short drive from the city center. This B&B is housed in a stunning historic building, offering guests a unique blend of cultural heritage and modern comfort. 

Its tranquil surroundings make it a perfect retreat for those seeking peace and relaxation, while its proximity to Durham’s attractions ensures guests are well-placed to explore.

Notable Amenities

Ushaw Historic House prides itself on offering guests a genuinely homey vibe, including en-suite rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, and access to the house’s extensive gardens. 

The B&B also offers free parking, making it convenient for guests traveling by car. A standout feature is guests’ access to Ushaw’s historic chapels and exhibitions, providing a unique cultural experience.

Cost and Value for Money

Room rates at Ushaw Historic House start from £80 per night, offering excellent value for guests looking to immerse themselves in Durham’s history and culture in a more intimate setting. This B&B is ideal for history enthusiasts, couples seeking a romantic getaway, and anyone wishing to experience the warmth of Durham’s hospitality.

Website: Ushaw Historic House

My Way GuesthouseFabulous Breakfasts

Location and Atmosphere

Located in the heart of Durham, My Way Guesthouse offers easy access to the city’s historic sites, shops, and best restaurants in Durham, making it an ideal base for explorers. The guesthouse combines classic charm with modern aesthetics, providing a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. 

Its central location does not sacrifice tranquility, ensuring a restful stay.

Notable Amenities

What sets My Way Guesthouse apart is its acclaimed breakfast, featuring locally sourced ingredients and a menu that caters to various dietary needs. Guests can enjoy high-speed Wi-Fi, beautifully appointed rooms with luxury linens, and personalised service that aims to make every stay special. The guesthouse also offers guidance on exploring Durham, from hidden gems to must-see attractions.

Cost and Value for Money

With prices starting at £90 per night, My Way Guesthouse represents superb value, particularly for foodies and those who appreciate the finer details of their accommodation. Its central location, combined with the comfort and quality of the stay, makes it a favorite among visitors to Durham.

Website: My Way Guesthouse

Amenities to Look For in the Best Hotels in Durham 

When planning a visit to Durham, the choice of accommodation plays a pivotal role in the overall experience. While the city’s rich tapestry of history, education, and natural beauty attracts visitors, the best hotels in Durham ensure a stay as enriching as it is comfortable. 

Beyond the basic expectations of cleanliness and comfort, certain amenities can significantly enhance your stay, catering to a wide range of needs and preferences. Here, we delve into essential amenities that set apart the finest hotels, making your visit to Durham genuinely unforgettable.

On-Site Dining Options

One of the hallmarks of a great hotel is the availability of quality on-site dining. The best hotels offer a variety of culinary experiences, from gourmet restaurants serving local and international cuisines to casual cafes for light bites. 

Look for hotels that source ingredients locally, providing a taste of Durham’s rich culinary culture right at your doorstep. On-site dining is not just a matter of convenience; it’s about enjoying exquisite dining experiences without leaving the comfort of your hotel.

Fitness Centers and Spas

For many travelers, maintaining a fitness routine or indulging in relaxation therapies is essential to the hotel experience. Premier hotels in Durham feature well-equipped fitness centers, allowing guests to keep up with their exercise regime. 

Additionally, luxury spas offer a range of treatments, from massages to wellness therapies, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration. These facilities not only cater to your physical well-being but also ensure a rejuvenating stay.

Pet-Friendly Policies

Traveling with pets can be challenging, but more hotels now recognize the importance of accommodating furry family members. Pet-friendly hotels in Durham go beyond merely allowing pets; they welcome them with amenities like pet beds, bowls, and treats. 

Some even offer pet-sitting and dog-walking services, ensuring your pets are well-cared for while you explore the city. This inclusivity makes these hotels a preferred choice for pet owners.

Childcare Services

For families traveling with children, childcare services can be a game-changer. Hotels offering professional babysitting or kids’ clubs allow parents to enjoy adult-only time, knowing their children are in safe hands. These services often include a range of age-appropriate activities, making the stay enjoyable for younger guests.

Accessibility Features

Accessibility is a crucial factor for many travelers. The top hotels in Durham are designed to be inclusive, offering features like wheelchair-accessible rooms, bathrooms with grab bars, and visual aid devices. 

These hotels ensure that all guests can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free stay regardless of mobility or sensory limitations.

How to Access the City for the Best Hotels in Durham

Thanks to its well-connected transport network, accessing Durham City is a seamless experience. Whether traveling by road, rail, or air, getting to and around Durham is convenient, making it all the more appealing for tourists and visitors. 

This guide provides essential travel information, ensuring you can easily reach the best hotels in Durham and explore the city’s attractions without hassle. Here’s what you need to know about accessing Durham City for a stress-free journey.

By Road

Durham is well-served by the UK’s road network, with the A1(M) providing direct access to the city. This major north-south motorway connects Durham to major cities such as Newcastle to the north and Leeds and Sheffield to the south. 

Upon reaching Durham, visitors will find several parking options, ranging from on-street to multi-story car parks. The city’s Park and Ride service is an efficient way to access the city center without the need to navigate through traffic or worrying about parking.

By Rail

Durham’s railway station is a key stop on the East Coast Main Line, offering regular services to London King’s Cross, Edinburgh, Manchester, and Birmingham. The journey from London to Durham typically takes around three hours, making rail travel convenient for those coming from the capital or other major cities. 

Upon arrival, the city center and many of the best hotels in Durham are just a short taxi ride or a pleasant walk away.

By Air

Newcastle International Airport is the closest major airport to Durham, located approximately 30 miles north of the city for international visitors or those traveling from further afield within the UK.

The airport offers flights to and from a wide range of domestic and international destinations. From the airport, Durham can be easily reached by rail, with direct services available, or by road via the A1(M).

Where to Park in Durham City

Durham offers a variety of parking options to accommodate visitors. Many establishments provide parking facilities or arrangements with nearby car parks for those staying in city-center hotels.

Some of the best Durham car parks include The Prince Bishops and The Riverwalk shopping center car park, which offer convenient and secure parking options close to major attractions and accommodations. 

For a hassle-free visit, consider using one of the city’s three Park and Ride sites, located on the outskirts of Durham, offering an affordable and convenient way to access the city center.

FAQ

What are the best luxury hotels in Durham?

Durham boasts several luxury hotels, including Hotel Indigo, for its blend of contemporary comfort and historical architecture, and the Ramside Hall Hotel, known for its luxurious spa and golf course.

Are there any boutique hotels in Durham?

Yes, Durham is home to unique boutique hotels like 40Winks and The Family Tower Guesthouse, offering personalised experiences and themed rooms.

Can I find family-friendly hotels in Durham?

Absolutely. The Funky Monkey and Marriott Durham Royal County are excellent choices, with amenities like family rooms, kids’ activities, and swimming pools.

What are the best budget-friendly hotels in Durham?

For those looking to save, Gilesgate Moor Hotel and The Old School House offer great value with comfortable accommodations at affordable rates.

Are there any B&Bs or guesthouses in Durham for a more personal stay?

Yes, Durham has charming options like Ushaw Historic House and My Way Guesthouse, perfect for those seeking a cozy and intimate setting.

How can I access Durham City easily?

Durham is accessible by road via the A1(M), by rail with direct services to major cities, and by air through Newcastle International Airport. The city also offers convenient Park and Ride services.

Where can I park when staying in Durham City?

Many hotels offer their own parking facilities, and there are numerous public car parks and Park and Ride options for easy access to the city center.

What amenities should I look for in the best hotels in Durham?

Look for hotels offering on-site dining, fitness centers or spas, pet-friendly policies, childcare services, and accessibility features to enhance your stay.

Are the best hotels in Durham close to major attractions?

Many of Durham’s top hotels are centrally located, providing easy access to attractions like Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle, and the University.

Do hotels in Durham cater to business travelers?

Yes, hotels like Raddison Blu Hotel and Ramside Hall offer amenities such as meeting rooms, high-speed Wi-Fi, and convenient access to the business district, catering specifically to the needs of business travelers.